A piece of artifice, a symbol of defiance against mortality, yet subject to the same laws of nature as the warm and fluttering little sparrow.
In the end, it is not in the lofty ivory tower that we find our salvation, but in the dark depth of the earth, the sea, and space itself, where nameless things strike fear in hearts brittle of hubris.
Madame Lebrun, self portrait, 1787
In 1787, Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun caused a minor public scandal with a self-portrait, exhibited the same year, in which she was shown smiling open-mouthed – in contravention of painting conventions. The court gossip-sheet, Mémoires secrets, commented: ‘An affectation which artists, art-lovers and persons of taste have been united in condemning, and which finds no precedent among the Ancients, is that in smiling, [Madame Vigée-Lebrun] shows her teeth.’
Marie Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, or Madame Lebrun, was Marie Antoinette’s official painter.
When she was 24 she painted her first of 30 portraits of Marie Antoinette, and until 1789 she was considered the Queen’s official painter. King Louis’s official painter simply did not like her at all, which I think is kind of funny in a weird way. He would attempt to have her studio seized, and he vigorously opposed her entrance into the Académie Royale to such an extent an order from Louis XVI was what finally granted Madame Lebrun her admission.
gif of the painting process:
Sorry this was so darn long D:. tried to make it as short as possible. I’ve been asked quite a few times on how I paint before now, and I’ve never made an actual tutorial until now. Hope this helps clear some stuff up :).